The Last Straw

For two weeks now, SSA Dr. Spencer Reid had been holed up in his apartment, struggling with the crippling guilt and depression left in the wake of Dr. Maeve Donovan’s murder.  His teammates, his friends, had come by and called numerous times, but Spencer couldn’t bring himself to speak to or see anyone.  The weight of his emotions was crushing him, and he was teetering on the edge of a major depressive episode.  He just couldn’t find the will to shower, let alone be babied and face all of the pitying stares.  He knew that his friends were worried and, honestly, they had reason to be.  Spencer had spent much of those two weeks struggling to stay sober.  He craved the sweet numbness he could experience with Dilaudid.  He had worked so hard to get and stay clean, but at this point he was questioning the point of it all.  Was it worth it to stay sober when he felt the way he did?  He had lost the one woman he had ever loved and who truly understood him.  He had wanted to spend the rest of his life with this incredible woman, but that future had been cruelly ripped away from him, and he knew that he would never meet someone more perfectly suited for him.  He heard her voice in his mind and tears ran down his cheeks as he curled into the couch even more, tightly gripping “The Narrative of John Smith” in his arms.

The ringing of his phone jarred him out of his troubled sleep.  He glanced at the phone, and then turned to look at the cover of the book that Maeve had left for him at the restaurant.  He still wasn’t prepared to deal with anyone.

“Hey Reid, it’s Derek.  Listen, I’ve got a work question for you.  The UNSUB is exsanguinating the victims and removing their eyelids ante mortem.  Does that mean anything to you?  Hit me back.”  Spencer listened as the voice of his best friend, SSA Derek Morgan, came through the speakers of his answering machine.  He wrestled with himself.  On one hand he had no desire to speak to anyone, but this was his friend and teammate and they needed his help.  He leaned over the armrest of the couch and grasped the phone’s receiver.

After a short conversation with Derek, Spencer decided to put in a call to SSA Anderson to request the case file.

“Hi Anderson, this is Dr. Reid.  I was wondering if you could possibly bring me the file on the case my team is currently working on,” Spencer asked.  Anderson, while surprised to hear from him, hurriedly agreed and promised to bring it over within the hour.  Deciding that he should at least look mildly presentable, Spencer forced himself to his small bathroom to take a quick shower.

Less than 45 minutes had passed when he heard a knock at his door.  Spencer, clad in brown corduroy pants and a rumpled indigo colored button up, padded to the door and glanced through the peep hole.  Seeing Anderson give a small smile and lift the case file, Spencer opened the door and greeted the fellow agent.  Seeing the collection of gift baskets littering his hallway, he gathered them and set them just inside the apartment.  Anderson was there for no more than five minutes before he was headed back to Quantico, and Spencer was sat back on his couch, although this time he had a case file spread before him and he was sedately munching on the mixed nuts he had been gifted.

It didn’t take long before he’d gotten the geographical profile ironed out, and he made a second call to Morgan.

“What’s up, kid,” Derek answered.

“If it is about the art, then it’s clear the disposal sites are scattered around the Mission District area,” Spencer told the older agent.

“Wait a minute.  How did you know-“ Derek started to ask, but Spencer interrupted him.

“I had Anderson bring over some of the files.”

“All right.  All right, hold on a second.  Let me patch in Garcia,” Derek said.  “Reid,” he said once the patch went through.

“Garcia, you should pull a list of all the art galleries in San Francisco,” Spencer said to Penelope.

“Reid, I was just…how are you?”  Penelope’s soft, concerned voice floated through.

“Better.  Thanks for asking.  And thanks for the baskets.  You know, nuts have magnesium, which helps produce-“ Spencer was cut off by Penelope.

“Serotonin.  Yea.  I know,” she said.  “Ok, galleries.  I got a lot.”

“Focus on the Mission District,” Spencer said before hanging up.

That little bit of interaction with two of his closest friends warmed his heart.  He could hear their affection for him in their voices, and while he still didn’t really want to leave the solitude of his apartment, he felt maybe he should.  He collapsed back onto his couch and ate a few more of the nuts Penelope had so kindly chosen for him.

Twenty minutes later saw Spencer zipping up his freshly packed go bag and heading towards the phone to let Garcia know he was going to fly out to San Francisco to help the team.  Just as his fingertips brushed the receiver, the phone started ringing.

“Hello,” Spencer answers the call, brows furrowed.

“Dr. Reid?  This is Dr. Norman from Bennington Sanitarium,” the voice says from the other end of the line.  Spencer’s heart starts to race.  It never is a good thing when his mother’s doctor calls him.

“Yes, Dr. Norman?  What’s going on,” he asks.

“I’m sorry to inform you that your mother died this afternoon, Spencer.  She had complained of a headache last night then this morning she fell to the ground and started seizing right after lunch.  We think it may have been caused by a brain aneurysm.  She was gone before the EMTs showed up.  I am so very sorry,” Dr. Norman informed Spencer.

“I…thank you for calling to let me know,” Spencer replied in a flat tone.  He said nothing more before his knees gave out and he dropped the phone.  He didn’t know what to do.  Spencer was devastated by the news of his mother’s death.  Two of the most wonderful women that he’d ever known in his life being cruelly snatched away in less than a month, and Spencer could only feel like he was being punished for something.  What had he done to deserve this pain?  He’d done his best to care for his mother for as long as he possibly could, but she had needed more help than he could provide by himself.  He had tried to save Maeve, but ultimately was unable to.  Maybe this was his fate.  Being left behind by everyone he loved.  His father hadn’t cared enough to stay when he was a child, Ethan had dropped all communications with him after their first day at the academy, and Elle had ran off and hadn’t been heard from since.  Gideon, a man that Spencer had looked up to as a father and mentor, had left the same way his actual father had, leaving just a note.  JJ had been torn away from the team, although she had come back, and Emily had faked her death, come back to the team, and had left again.  Maeve had been murdered and his mother had succumbed to a brain aneurysm, of all things.

Spencer was tired of all of the hurt from being left by his loved ones.  He was tired of trying to get past these losses he had suffered.  There was only one way to take away those feelings, though, and he would have to force himself to his feet to go and find it.

The sound of his door closing echoed through the empty apartment, as Spencer left to find his old dealer.


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I sometimes write things.

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